There is a certain joy one receives when watching children in their environment.
Mother's Day was this weekend and Gammy and I set off for the Ozark mountains - mountains by Missouri standards, foothills by others'. Elevations here are measured in hundreds of feet not thousands.
There has been a fair amount of rain lately, so the rivers and creeks are up. The Mississippi is above flood stage, so I'm pretty sure that the Missouri and the Meremac are as well.
Our younger daughter lives out there somewhere with her husband and two girls. We have to cross three rivers and several valleys to get there. The trip is always worth the drive.
Their spread is bottom land with a dry weather creek that is butted up against a bluff. They get the occasional flood and have to move their two horses and one donkey up to the house.
That was not the case this weekend.
The temperature was cool, but not overly so when we headed down to the creek.
Our son-in-law carried a collapsible rod and reel in hopes of landing a small mouth bass.
The girls carried a bucket and dip net. They had a different objective in mind. They were hunting crawdads.
This is a clear water creek and if you can see the crawdads, they can see you.
The girls were not deterred. They stood knee-deep in the cold, flowing water scanning the water's edge for their prey.
Swishing their net through the loose roots waving in the current brought the desired results. They netted maybe fifteen of the mud bugs over the next few minutes. Most were too small for anything other than bait. A few were big enough to eat but there were not enough to bother with. None seemed to be hens carrying their eggs around. I'm not sure if it's too early in the year or too late.
In the end I'm not sure how many they caught. We just enjoyed watching them do what they do.